Who ate all my pancakes?
Happy Pancake Day! I hope you’re all celebrating the feast of St Pancake – whether for breakfast or, like me, with savoury crepes for supper. Although I love the old-school crepes – paper thin, eaten with Nutella or sugar and lemon – I also have a weakness for American buttermilk pancakes. There’s a good recipe for these here, and if you can’t get buttermilk don’t worry; you can make your own, or use plain yoghurt or Greek yoghurt instead.
If you don’t feel like cooking, here are my five favourite places to have pancakes in London:
Lucky Seven, Westbourne Grove, W10
Of all the American-style retro diners in London (I also like The Diner) I think this one is the best. You’ll probably have to share one of the retro leather booths but the giant, fluffy buttermilk pancakes are worth it. They do banana and blueberry, but I ask for mine served with bacon and maple syrup. They even have those fat-lipped coffee mugs that I’ve only ever seen in America. If memory serves, they might even do free refills.
The Elk in the Woods, Camden Passage, N1
Much better than The Breakfast Club down the road, which is pretty overrated in my opinion, The Elk in the Woods is a gorgeously cosy, quirky wood-panelled place in Camden Passage. It does a fantastic breakfast/brunch featuring vanilla pancakes with boozy gingered pears, smoked bacon and maple syrup.
Caravan, Exmouth Market, EC1
This trendy Australian place is amazing for brunch. There are two of them; I prefer the more laid-back Exmouth Market outpost, where you can eat outdoors on a nice day. The all-day menu features a squid pancake with Japanese brown sauce, mayonnaise and seaweed salt. For breakfast, it’s not pancakes but I love the cornbread French toast with bacon, rocket and avocado.
Modern Pantry, St John’s Square, EC1
I adore Modern Pantry; it’s a beautiful airy space and they serve the kind of stuff you just couldn’t cook at home. They do a divine raspberry and ricotta pancake with berry compote and crème fraiche. Also recommended; the sweetcorn, feta, green chilli and curry leaf waffle with smoked streaky bacon. Sounds weird, tastes great.
La Creperie de Hampstead, Hampstead High Street, NW3
If you can brave the queue, this stall does the most addictive crepes featuring varations on ham, cheese, mushrooms and tarragon. Plus of course the obligatory Nutella. You can also be healthy and get a buckwheat crepe with tomato filling, but why would you? There’s another branch near South Ken tube, but I’m not a fan; it’s supercrowded and I don’t think the pancakes are as good.
Are you having pancakes today? What’s your favourite pancake place?